POLICE: WOMAN IN HER 70′S WAS BEATEN, SEXUALLY ASSAULTED IN CENTRAL PARK (UPDATED WITH PHOTOS OF SUSPECT)
A 73-year-old woman out birdwatching around noon on Wednesday was hit on the head, robbed and raped in the Strawberry Fields section of Central Park, according to police. The attacker reportedly approached her in the park around 74th Street just off of Central Park West.
Another birdwatcher found the woman sprawled across a path with a black eye and swollen face. She told him she’d been raped and that the attacker had slammed her head into the ground, DNAinfo reported.
Update: Photos of rape suspect at right from NYPD.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the woman told police her assailant may have been a man she photographed exposing himself in Central Park a few days ago, the AP reported.
More from the New York Times:
The woman, a bird-watcher who goes to the park every day, had encountered the man before. About a week and a half ago, she had seen him masturbating in the Brambles area and taken a photo of him. At the time, the man demanded that the woman delete the photo, and when she refused, he tried unsuccessfully to take her camera.
Then Wednesday, around 11:50 a.m., the woman was birding near Strawberry Fields when the man, whom she described as white and clean shaven, with a Russian accent and in his 40s or 50s, appeared again.
He said to her, “Do you remember me?”
Then he threw her to the ground, raped her and stole her bag, which contained a camera. It was not clear if the camera was the one that she had used earlier or if she kept the photos from the earlier encounter, which she never reported to the police.
Parts of Central Park were closed after the incident.
We will continue updating with more information.
About a week and a half ago, a rape was reported in Riverside Park near 96th Street.
Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact Crime Stoppers — by phone (800-577-8477) or text (text to 274637 and enter TIP577 before the information), or by visiting the Web site.
Photo by cryjack.